Water

Everglades Ecosystem

Female Boat-tailed Grackle, Everglades, Florida. Photo: Jenni Konrad/Flickr Creative Commons

The Bottom Line

Conservation impact on 7.7 million acres; improved outcomes for six priority bird species.


As the only conservation organization working throughout the ecosystem, Audubon’s goal for the Everglades is to reestablish colonies of wading birds that have been displaced by drainage, development, and dirty water. Science, grassroots reach, sophisticated policy work, and partnerships with landowners, businesses, and other stakeholders all drive Audubon’s success.

Important Bird Areas are central to this effort. One of the first victories in our new Atlantic Flyway IBA strategy was the formation of the Everglades Headwaters National Wildlife Refuge and Conservation Area. This 150,000-acre refuge supports priority birds like Grasshopper Sparrows and many migratory species. Focusing on getting the right amounts of freshwater flowing into the remnants of the Everglades, Audubon has shaped federal and state policies and secured funding for projects that store, treat, and deliver clean water to the natural system. Audubon Florida and the state’s 44 chapters collaborate with other partners and local, state, and federal decision makers to marshal much-needed support for the ambitious Everglades restoration project, the nation’s largest ecosystem project. Among recent successes are measures to reduce pollution in Lake Okeechobee, improve freshwater flow to Everglades National Park, and restore 20 miles of the Kissimmee River.

Theory of Victory: Audubon will harness its full network to restore natural hydrological processes, reduce pollution, and advance sound land management practices that support the health of the full Everglades system.